Page 1


Serving Orcas, Lopez and San Juan County

The Islands’ Sounder is a proud sponsor of


WEDNESDAY, June 25, 2014  VOL. 47, NO. 26  75¢ 

Taking physics on the road

Debut of new vessel removal program by SCOTT RASMUSSEN

Orcas middle schoolers learn to build kayak trailers

Journal editor

A new twist to a long-standing state pollution prevention program made a hearty debut last week on the waterfront of Friday Harbor. By all accounts, it proved a smashing success. Ken Norris wasn’t going to stick around to witness the lift-off from start to finish because the derelict vessel removal program’s newest feature, the “turn-in” option, signaled a bittersweet goodbye. “It’s a mixed blessing to have the state take care of it for me,” Norris said of the fate of the 28-foot wooden boat that for the better part of 20 years had been homesweet-home and the embodiment of a cherished dream. His means to maintain the boat slipped away in the fallout from a severe leg injury several years ago and, ultimately, orders by his doctor to abandon ship. Managed by the Washington Department of Natural Resources,

by CALI BAGBY Assistant editor

Cathy Ellis loves riding her bike and kayaking. Now thanks to three young islanders she can combine two of her passions. Middle Schoolers Tashi Litch, Kajeton Bullock and Henry Miller spent three months building kayak trailers that attach to bicycles. Their labors are all part of an applied physics course taught by Brett McFarland. “For people that live in Eastsound, it’s a great way to get their kayaks to the water,” said McFarland who teaches the course as part of the OASIS program at the Orcas Island School District. Every Wednesday morning for three hours, the three youths learn various physics topics and literally build things based on those ideas. “We have been looking into strength of materials, as well as strength of different types of glue joints with wood, and these have led us to building bike kayak trailers,” said McFarland. The kids spent their mornings testing and

Cali Bagby/Staff photos

Pictured above: Orcas Islander Cathy Ellis takes her new kayak trailer for a ride. At right: OASIS Middle Schoolers Tashi Litch, Kajeton Bullock and Henry Miller spent three months building kayak trailers that attach to bicycles for an applied physics class taught by Brett McFarland.



Sheriff, county put an end to ICE ‘holds’ by SCOTT RASMUSSEN Journal editor

On the heels of recent rulings in federal court, San Juan County and its Sheriff ’s Department are joining a rapidly expanding list of cities and counties that limit how far they will go in rounding up those suspected of being in the U.S. illegally. As of May 23, the San Juan County Sheriff ’s Department ended its long-standing policy of honoring what is now viewed as a request by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, that anyone taken into custody, and who is suspected of being in the country illegally, be detained for up to 48 hours, long enough for immigration enforcement agents

to presumably pick them up. “It means that once we’re done with them on the local level, they’re free to go,” Sheriff Rob Nou said of the change in policy.  The County Council is prepared to solidify that change in the sheriff ’s department policy by crafting it into a binding resolution, which is expected to be approved at the June 17 council meeting.  At the June 3 council meeting, Nou said that in a recent court decision involving a case out of Clackamas County, Ore., a federal judge ruled Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s controversial I-247 Detainer, commonly known as an ICE hold, functions more like a “request,” rather than an “order,” and local law enforcement officials are not

legally bound to abide by it. Nou said the judge also determined that an ICE hold does not constitute “probable cause,” the standard by which an officer can legally make an arrest, conduct a search or detain someone. In the Clackamas County case, U.S. Magistrate Judge Janice Stewart ruled that the rights of a Portland-area woman, arrested for violating a domestic violence restraining order, were violated because of prolonged detention in jail. Following the arrest, the woman’s fingerprints were shared with an ICE database, which revealed she was in the county illegally, and ICE asked that the jail place a 48-hour hold on her.  County Manager Mike Thomas said the risk of the county find-

ing itself in a lawsuit, presumably the wrong end, would increase if someone is detained without probable cause. The rulings in federal court have unleashed a wave of recent policy changes for local law enforcement agencies, for cities and counties, and for Oregon and Washington state in particular. As many as 30 counties in Oregon and 11 in Washington state, including King, Skagit and Whatcom, no longer honor ICE holds. In response to a Journal/ Sounder inquiry, ICE Public Affairs Officer Andrew Munoz responded by email: “When law enforcement agencies remand criminals to ICE custody rather


Sounder deadlines Display advertising: Friday at noon Classified advertising: Monday at noon Legal advertising: Thursday at noon Press releases, Letters: Friday at 3 p.m.

How to reach us Office: 376-4500 Fax: 1-888-562-8818 Advertising: advertising@ Classified: 1-800-388-2527, classifieds@ Editor: editor@

Islands' Sounder, June 25, 2014  
Islands' Sounder, June 25, 2014  

June 25, 2014 edition of the Islands' Sounder